Friday, August 04, 2006

So this is what all the dads are missing...

I'm the working parent. My husband is the stay at home parent. It works out nicely because I can make enough to support the family, and he has always wanted to be involved in his kids lives more than his own father, who was always working. I like this arrangement much better than if I had to send the baby to daycare or something. In fact, I probably wouldn't have gotten pregnant if we thought we couldn't do one parent staying at home. I also like working, and I don't feel any of the guilty ambiguity about it that some women do who have the option of working but don't have to because their husbands make enough, so it's just some extra fun $$. I have to, because I make more money than he would(cha ching!).

But.

Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on stuff. You know. The baby's six months old now, and he's starting to make all kinds of noises, especially, "da da da daaaaaa dadadada da da da." A part of me can't help wondering if I was at home instead, he'd be saying "ma ma ma maaaaaa mamamama ma ma ma." (The logical part of me says no silly, they always say dada first, but still.) He's getting to the age where he can really be involved with playing. It's not just sleep eat poop sleep all the time anymore. Now that he's interested in putting everything he sees into his mouth and trying to crawl, I'm beginning to realize how much he's doing all day that I'm not seeing. And I think of all the things he will be doing that I won't see either. Learning to play more, actual crawling, walking, talking, etc. Not that I won't get to see these things on the weekend or evenings, but there is a good chance I'll miss the first something because it happens on the husband's watch. And that makes me a little bit sad.

I guess this is the way my dad felt when he worked 60 hour weeks and rarely saw us when we were very small. I rarely work more than 40, so that's something to be grateful for. And I feel so comfortable leaving the baby with the husband, because he is a natural father and loves the baby more than anything and it is SO DARN CUTE to watch them interact. In fact, sometimes it's much more comfortable for me to watch him play with the baby rather than me play with the baby myself. Because while the baby adores me and laughes himself to death and reaches up his arms to me every day when I come home, he still sees his daddy as the one who takes care of him most, and they have that special thing that I guess stay at home parents have with their kids.

I know I'm lucky. I'm lucky that one of us gets to stay home at all. I'm lucky that the baby is allowed to come by the office whenever, and if I wanted, I could go home at lunch every day because I'm close. But I had to stop doing that because whenever I left home or they left the office, I would cry and cry in the bathroom because I missed my baby. It's easier just to leave the baby at home all day and try to focus on work, then spend the last hour of the day dying to see him. He's taking the baby to the mall today with another one of our mom friends (whose own baby girl is 17 months). I'm sad that people in the mall might think that they're the family. I'm sad that the baby will get to explore that kid's play area without me being there to watch the husband slide him down the plastic slide. I'm sad that I don't get to look at that big toothless smile whenever I want or hear that hilarious cough sounding laugh except those times I'm on the phone with the husband and the baby and I get to "talk."

I understand that stay at home parents have a lot of pressure and stress related to their lives and sometimes would just kill to be able to talk to other adults, like in a work environment. And I understand that a lot of families can't have the stay at home parent luxury. An I'm grateful to have a job and be in the adult world. But sometimes I think stay at home parents are the luckiest people on the planet, and I'm sad that I have to miss stuff.

2 Comments:

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work
» » »

 
At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read » » »

 

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